Friday, 31 May 2013
Sunday, 26 May 2013
Today Father Mervyn presided at the Parish Mass and preached as Father Martin was preaching at one of the local churches. In his sermon Father Mervyn asked several people to exam an envelope but they all said it was empty until Father put his hand in and pulled out an orange. He used the orange to illustrate the Blessed Trinity. Despite the Bank Holiday the numbers attending
Mass today were average with a few new faces.
During the notices Father Mervyn reminded the congregation that there was still an opportunity to book to go to the Holy Land in October with two place available. He also reminded everybody that on Friday we will be welcoming Bishop Norman, the Bishop of Richborough who will be confirming a number of people from the parish and from the parish of Great Bardfield. He in invited people to sign up the list at the back of church for donations for the Reception after the Confirmation and Pontifical Mass.
Tomorrow a group from the parish are going to the National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took £134
YEAR OF FAITH
Saturday 20th August St. Alban’s Cathedral 12 noon with the Bishop of Richborough.
Book you coach seat with Father Mervyn asap £15 per head.
Saturday, 25 May 2013
During the Year of Faith, the Bishop of Richborough is organising 6 meetings and today we met at St. Peter’s Church, Harold Wood. A contingent of 7 attended from St. Augustine’s and some will be going to the meeting on 10th August at St. Alban’s Cathedral which will include a Solemn Mass. A coach is being organised by St. Alban’s Romford at a cost of £15 and will pick up passengers at St. Augustine’s.
An act of worship had been organised by the Vicar of St. Peter’s the Revd. David Banting. We had an interesting talk by the Revd Professor Dr.Gerald Bray Samford Professor of Divinity. After refreshments we were led in a Bible Study by The Bishop of Richborough. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile morning.
St. Peter’s is a member church of Reform and it was good to see many other members of Reform present as well as traditional Catholics.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Meet the Church Community
This Month—Fr Mervyn and Ann
Favourite Book: Whatever I’m currently reading
Favourite Poem: Vitaï Lampada by Sir Henry Newbolt
Favourite Biscuit: Leibnitz Plain Chocolate Biscuits
Favourite Hymn: Bright the Vision that delighted
Favourite Film: Les Miserables
Favourite Place: Cyprus
Favourite Bible Passage: Isaiah 6. 1-9
Favourite Composers: Bach, Handel, Elgar
What is special about St. Augustine’s to you? The warmth and welcome we received when we first came here when I retired.
Favourite Book: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and any Jane Austen novel
Favourite Poem: The Snake by D.H. Lawrence
Favourite Biscuit: Rich Tea (spread with butter stuck to a cream cracker)
Favourite Hymn: Lo! He comes with clouds descending
Favourite Film: Schindler’s List
Favourite Place: Blackmore Vale in Dorset
Favourite Bible Passage: Matthew 28 v 290 second part and John 1.1-14
Favourite Composers: Beethoven and Mozart
What is special about St. Augustine’s to you? The friendliness of the congregation and that newcomers don’t have to wait 20 years to be asked to do anything.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Today, at a well supported Solemn Mass of
Pentecost, Father Martin presided and Father Mervyn concelebrated, read the Gospel and preached. Ann led us in our Intercessions.
In his sermon Father Mervyn reminded us how Jesus had instructed the Apostles to return to Jerusalem and to wait. He pointed out that none of us enjoy waiting but we all have to do so from time to time. He mentioned the wait in a Doctor’s waiting room or in the waiting room of a dentist or the wait at a supermarket check-out. He wondered if the Apostles wanted to get on with their mission rather than to wait. He reminded us how the Apostles had all been frightened at the time of the Crucifixion and how, all except S. John, had run away; and how they had been in the Upper Room with the doors locked because they were afraid. He contrasted that with their boldness after the Day of Pentecost, preaching the Gospel to everyone. We too had this as our responsibility and we too had the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us, to strengthen us and to inspire what we said so that we could give witness to the living Jesus through the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father.
Today when we went to the Statue of Our Lady we sang the Regina Caeli for the last time this year.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took £206
DATES TO NOTE
Wednesday 22nd May The Rosary 7.30 p.m.
Saturday 25th May Meeting at St. Peter’s, Harold Wood with the Bishop of Richborough.
Friday 31st May 7.30 p.m.
The Sacrament of Confirmation within a Pontifical Mass with the Bishop of Richborough
Friday, 17 May 2013
The Holy Spirit came down upon them
In the middle of this month we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and at the end of the month we have our Confirmation Service. Key to both these services is the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is that day when the Holy Spirit came, as Jesus promised it would, and entered into the lives of his disciples, likewise during the Confirmation service the Bishop calls on the Holy Spirit to enter into the lives of those being confirmed. There is no doubt in my mind that we as Christ’s followers today no more understand the power of the Holy Spirit than they did then, gathered once again in that room.
We know that the crowd to whom they then appeared did not understand the power of the Spirit, for they thought the disciples where drunk or under some form of possession, and yet as they started to listen to them they realised that each of them was speaking a different language, and that each language was known to the different groups of people in the crowd.
Jesus disciples, just like our confirmation candidates, came from many backgrounds but the brothers; James and John, Peter and Andrew were, we know, fishermen. They would have been proficient in their own language (Aramaic) and in enough of the other local languages as to get by in them, much as we often do today when on holiday. They would certainly not have been proficient enough to be able to proclaim the Good News.
Across the centuries there have been many examples of the outpourings of the Holy Spirit and in many cases these have been badly received by those in authority, both ecclesiastical and secular. The Old Testament prophets sent by God to the Jews of old were, as Jesus himself tells us, stoned to death. Those who since the time of Christ have claimed to be moved by the Spirit have often been regarded as mad or possessed and treated accordingly. Some like Joan of Ark have been killed for refusing to deny that the Spirit moved them.
Yet in all this God continues to talk to us, he encourages us to work for the good of the kingdom on earth and to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit that we might be the instruments of his service. So why does God do this? Where does this come from in our understanding?
A celebration for the giving of the Law to Moses was added in Old Testament times to the spring wheat harvest festival, for man cannot live on bread alone; He also needs more than rules to live by, so the original concept of Pentecost was of an outpouring of the spirit of God that his chosen people might not want either spiritually or physically. Thus, the people gathered to joyfully give thanks for their deliverance.
The opening words of the Old Testament tell us that the Spirit of God was there at the beginning, brooding over the face of the waters, bringing order out of chaos; he is always at work in his creation; and clearly rested on some special souls like Abram, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and Second Isaiah (Scholars now know that the Book of the Prophet Isaiah had at least two authors). He is most clearly and fully seen in Jesus.
What happened at that Pentecost after Jesus had ascended was that ordinary mortals like Andrew, Simon, Philip, James, or like you and me, were enabled to become like Jesus.Trying to describe what happened in his gospel Luke uses many intense symbols: noise and wind and fire and dove all represent the presence of God; tongues of fire are for a message to deliver, they rest on each because all share in the mission; many lands are represented there, in this antidote to the Tower of Babel, the message is for all the world; even though there are some who are always contemptuous of God's messengers. This despite the fact that they speak a universal language, which is the language of love.
This was an entirely new thing with a string of new consequences: a new community with new concerns and concepts, new characters and new compassion and new confidence, and new ways of communication. It was the birthday of the Church!
Birthday of the Church it may be, but many Christians are shy of Pentecost. Childhood talk of a Holy Ghost has made them uneasy across the centuries; it is why we started saying Holy Spirit instead of Holy Ghost. The disciples seem to have lost control of all inhibitions, and we are wary of that; and most of all, this is a new thing and we don't like change.
The Pentecost experience is one that is hot and strong and we prefer it soft and gentle: but that's on offer too. John later set the record straight: Christ breathing his Spirit on his disciples as in the upper room on Easter night. Like a driving wind or a gentle breath, there is no limit to how he comes. Nor are there any limits to the way he works.
Some in our time may imply that if your experience of God is not the same as theirs, you are not saved; without the gift of tongues, you are not Christ's; or they arrogantly claim their brand of faith is best. It may be best for them, but there are no second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God, and no limits to the way He works. Nor is he limited to the followers of Jesus; who else inspired Moses and Gotama, Mohammed, Confucius, Nanak? There are no limits to the Spirit of God in time or place or people or experience. There are only the limits that we, not God Impose and in so doing we deny the power of his Spirit in us!
The most famous detail of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel is the spark of life between the finger of God and the finger of man. That's what happened at Pentecost. If you dare to trust him enough, are not afraid of what he might do to you, and dare to reach out towards him as he reaches towards you, the sparks can fly.
We test the validity of his indwelling, not by feelings but by how loving we are, by how much we are like Jesus. Jesus was the one really Spirit-filled man, and those who are born of the Spirit grow to be like him. We have no idea how loving and patient and kind we could be, how really good and generous, reliable and reconciling, how gentle and gracious we can become, when the Spirit is working in our lives. We can be like him!
They needed time; until they were not surprised by his presence, or afraid of his guiding, or troubled by his demands; but sure of his presence, and longing for his Kingdom. When, like Simon, we know we are accepted, and really believe we are forgiven, we are free to let our responding love reach out to meet his incoming love; and they will fuse together, and we will be transformed by Love.
God Bless you all.
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Today Father Martin presided at the Parish Mass and preached. Father Mervyn was St. Andrew’s, North Weald. In his sermon Father Martin said that we are all called to follow Jesus but acknowledged that it was difficult to do so. Many of us fail everyday. For example, just reading the Horoscope in the newspaper is failing Jesus; it is just rubbish. We need to care for each other so, for example, if someone is not at Mass we should check to see that they are alright. Doing that was the meaning of the Gospel that we should be one as Jesus is one with the Father.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took £205
The May edition is now available and there will be selections from it on the Blog from tomorrow.
Friday, 10 May 2013
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Today Father Martin was the Principle Celebrant and Father Mervyn read the Gospel, preached, led the Intercessions and concelebrated. In his sermon Father Mervyn pointed out that Rogation Sunday and Rogation days had a long history. It had been Queen Elizabeth 1 who had ordered that on Rogation Sunday there should be a “perambulation of the parish” so that the priest would be aware of the territory of his cure. This became known as “beating the bounds” a custom still observed in some rural parishes. Father Mervyn suggested that whilst boundaries could be useful Jesus had reminded us that we are both part of Him and part of each other. He had described himself as the vine and we, Christians, are the branches which are not only dependent on him but are interdependent on each other as well. Everything we do affects the other parts connected to the vine and if the vine thrives we not only have a rich harvest we also have seeds for harvests yet to come. That is the good news about Rogation.
Yesterdays May Fair made a total of £942.98 but there may be more yet to come.
Thursday 9th May 7.30 p.m.
followed by Bring & Share in the Parish Hall
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2013
There are a very few places left if you would like to join this trip of a lifetime
See Father Martin or Father Mervyn for more details.